Opportunites for seasonal work available during holidays

From October through the new year, seasonal work can be abundant. Work opportunities can range from production to sales at year-round businesses or temporary holiday shops, such as pumpkin patches and Christmas tree lots. Employers and job seekers, alike, should know their legal obligations and rights. For anyone choosing seasonal staff or jobs, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) offers these highlights: ‘Temporary employees are subject to the same laws as regular full-time or part-time employees. Despite the fact that they know that their job will end at a specific time, temporary staff members are not contract labor. They are entitled to the same protections under the law as regular employees. ‘For students seeking jobs during the holidays, child labor laws apply to teenagers under age 18. While less stringent guidelines apply to 16- and 17-year-olds, the minimum employment age for most jobs is 14. According to federal law, during the school year, 14- and 15-year-olds cannot be scheduled to work more than eight hours a day, nor can they work more than 40 hours a week. Additionally, the work must not start before 7 a.m. and must end by 7 p.m. The only exception is from June 1 through Labor Day, when work can be scheduled up to 9 p.m. In instances where an employer is not covered by federal child labor laws, Texas child labor laws will apply. Futhermore, because teenagers are barred from performing hazardous work, office machines such as computer and copiers are the only power-driven pieces of equipment they are allowed to operate. Under both federal and Texas law, parents may employ their own children in nonhazardous work for and during unlimited hours. ‘Employers must pay unemployment insurance taxes even on their temporary employees. The wages earned must be reported and are subject to taxes. This law applies even though a temporary employee knows from the outset that the job will end at a set time and the employee has no plans to seek another job after that particular assignment has ended. ‘The Texas Pay Day Law requires that both temporary and regular employees receive their wages in full and in a timely manner. For any employee, employers cannot withhold any amount of a paycheck without prior written authorization from the employee, or unless authorized by state or federal law, or by court order. Additionally, current minimum wage laws apply to wages earned. Annually, the labor force realizes employment growth in the last three months of the year as employers hire staff for various needs. In 1999, the actual employment annual average in Texas was 9,734,413. In the last three months of that year, the number of people employed was well above the annual average. The October average was 9,849,210; November tallied 9,869,318; and December topped out at 9,895,156. “Seasonal work pays off for both employers and workers,” said TWC executive director Cassie Carlson Reed. “While businesses benefit from the services of temporary staffing, the workers boost workplace skills and earn extra money.”

Leave a Comment